Pakistan batter close to joining Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in record list
Only two batters in the history of ODI cricket are part of this esteemed list right now but this contemporary Pakistan batter could soon be joining hands with legends AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. The elite two-member list consists of players with an average of 50 and more with a strike-rate at par or above 90 while boasting of a minimum of 3,000 One-Day runs.
Just two players in the 52-year-old rich history of the 50-overs format tick off the three boxes at the same time. One is South Africa's now-retired unicorn and ever-dependable middle-order giant, while the other is the Indian batting linchpin, touted by many to be the finest ODI batter in the contemporary game.
De Villiers, who bid premature farewell to the international game back in 2018, finished in the ODI format with a whopping 9,577 runs at an average of 53.50 with a strike-rate of 101.09 in an illustrious career spanning 14 years. Kohli has had an incredible body of work himself, still going strong as ever with a gigantic tally of 12,898 runs at 57.32 apiece and SR of 93.62 across 274 matches.
Even though the game's history has witnessed many great one-day batters with huge influence on the game, so far, these two are the only ones to retain an average of 50+ with a strike-rate going past 90 at a format tally of 3,000 or more runs. But this Pakistan batter is edging ever so closer to entering the same bracket. And no, it's not modern-day giant Babar Azam.
Pakistan batter could soon enter Kohli, De Villiers bracket
The batter concerned is Pakistan's blistering opening batter Fakhar Zaman, who has been in tremendous form in the 50-overs version of the game. The explosive left-hander is currently standing at a tally of 3,082 runs with a spectacular average of 49.40 while going at a strike-rate of 94.30 after 67 matches.
Fakhar, who has been a nemesis for the opposition attacks, hasn't yet achieved the metric required to enter the De Villiers-Kohli bracket of One-Day domination. But he could reach there soon, potentially in the ongoing five-match ODI series against New Zealand in flat batting conditions in Pakistan.
The blistering top-order player blasted a mindboggling 180 not out in the run-chase in Rawalpindi in the second ODI versus the Kiwis on Saturday (April 29) and led Pakistan to a victory by seven wickets even as they were chasing an imposing 337-run target.
Notably, it was Fakhar Zaman's second consecutive ton of the series after a similarly influential and aggressive knock of 117 in the first ODI helped Pakistan beat the visitors by five wickets. If he continues his rich vein of form, the left-hander could become only the third male batter in 50-overs history to achieve the avg-SR bracket attained only by greats De Villiers and Kohli thus far.